The Pittsburgh Pirates missed out on the 2017 MLB playoffs. That being said, if you’re a Pirates fan, the team has sent some of their top prospects to play in fall league baseball.
Here’s a list of those players and what you should be looking for from them.
Pitcher Mitch Keller
The Pirates right-hander is one of the headliners on Keith Law’s prospects to watch in fall league play. He’s a 6’3 21-year old hard thrower who played with West Virginia, Bradenton and Altoona in 2017.
Keller was the top ranked player in the Pirates farm at midseason on Baseball America and continues to show promise.
If you can catch any fall league action, take a good look at his fastball and his command. Both are strengths for the young pitcher.
Short Stop Cole Tucker
Injuries have plagued the former first round pick, as he broke his hand during Altoona’s Eastern League playoff series. He’ll be in Arizona for the start of the Arizona Fall League.
Tucker isn’t the type of player that’s going to hit a lot of home runs. He can get on base, and boy, can he run.
In 2017 between stops in Bradenton and Altoona he hit .275 with six home runs, 47 stolen bases and had an on-base percentage of .358.
Watch for Tucker in the fall league, and look specifically at place discipline and how he runs the bases.
Major League Impact
Hearing about prospects can be fun, but when will these guys make an impact in Pittsburgh?
For Tucker and Keller, both 21-years old, they probably won’t see much time in Pittsburgh in 2018. That is, of course, unless there are injuries or the players force their way into every day roles.
The two players realistically play a role in Pittsburgh some time in 2019. I would not be surprised if they’d get September call ups in 2018. Especially if the team is out of contention again.